Pergaud Louis – The Life of the Beasts: Animal Psychology
Pergaud Louis – The Life of the Beasts: Animal Psychology: In the preamble of this collection, Louis Pergaud presents La Fontaine and animal psychology. Great poet but less great observer of the animal world, La Fontaine, following Aesop, for Pergaud, uses the fable and animals to better criticize the human race.
Then follow several concise and tasty texts on the dog’s laughter, Toto the cat, Jacquot the jay, the hare, the swallow, etc. different animals that he could observe in his garden and in the surrounding countryside of his native Franche-Comté. Some chapters (the vengeance of the goat) plunge us back into the band of crazy kids of The War of the Buttons.
The language is sometimes light, stamped with “rabelaiseries”, often humorous and comical (the satyr dog), always very alive and poetic. Pergaud is anxious to restore the truth (the cowardly cowardice, the hypocrisy of the cat) to his animal friends, without falling into the naturalistic theory, following his common sense and his love of observation and anecdote. In the age of the internet and scholarly wildlife documentaries, these texts are delightful in their lightness and sensitivity.
At the end of the book, an unfinished novel, just sketched, to remind us that Louis Pergaud, this pacifist, laureate of the Prix Goncourt of 1910, died very young, broke in the trenches of the great war in Verdun in 1915.